It’s midnight. I’m sitting on my bed with arms like absolutely jelly. The unforgiving muscle soreness takes it grip and you know what? I like the feeling. I like not being able to eat my noodles and feeling like an absolute sloth. Because I earned it. Tonight I learned to lead climb. So much different to ‘top-roping’ where you can trust that when you fall the rope will immediately catch you… with leading there is actual risk involved. If (and when) you fall, you could get seriously hurt. And I am totally invigorated. I love the positive feelings that are the byproduct of overcoming a difficult situation – both physically and mentally.
Yet it’s not just this blissful feeling of endorphins and adrenaline that are getting me high, but a greater enthusiasm for the outdoors and the role it plays in my life. Those years I spent living in London felt long, stifled by the inner-city bustle. By the confines of my four walled apartment and only one that contained windows. By the suffocating stench of the London tube and breathing all that fake, saturated air. By the Sundays wasted drinking in the pubs.
Don’t get me wrong, there were 10,000 things I loved about London too. But it wasn’t my place. I was born for the outdoors. I was brought up with these outrageously adventurous parents – divers, skydivers, cavers, and it has just taken me longer to come back to my roots.
New Zealand is harbouring a life for me that is outdoorsy without fail, and those of us who live here are blessed with the best of adventurous living right on our doorsteps. It’s accessible for us – we just have to embrace it.
Just think. 40 minutes from Auckland CBD – the biggest city in New Zealand, I can be hiking through national parks, surfing at Piha and the West Coast beaches, rock climbing at Ti Point, sailing on the Waitemata Harbour, and yet the city still gets a bad wrap. Bollocks!
Exploring this beautiful country and committing to a year of microadventures has been such a blessing and I continue to learn something new here everyday.
Here’s my adventurers to date, and those in the pipeline:
1) Scaling seacliffs between Piha and Anawhata [read the blog]
2) Outdoor Climbing at Ti Point [read the blog]
3) Running Rainbow Mountain
5) Learning to Sail on Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour
4) New Zealand Alpine Club’s Snowcraft Course
5) South Island Snowboard Roadie
6) Finally Summit Ruapehu – Tahurangi Peak
7) Tongariro Moonlight Crossing (September)
8) The Coastal Classic Sailing Race (October)
9) Kayaking around Great Barrier Island (watch this space)
Open to many more suggestions too 🙂
I’m proud of this country we live in, and challenge everyone reading this to get stuck into some small micro adventures near home. I’d also be super humbled if you would share your progress with me by means of a photograph. Would love to collect snaps of what my friends and family have been enjoying the outdoors recently.
Remember “Adventure is just a state of mind”. As long as it challenges you and teaches you something it counts. Can’t wait to hear what everyone has been getting up to.